Zimbabwe asks Kenya to extradite Mugabe-era minister Jonathan Moyo

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Former Zimbabwean Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo. PHOTO | ALEXANDER JOE | AFP

Authorities in Zimbabwe requested Kenya to extradite Jonathan Moyo, who was a former Minister for Higher Education in Robert Mugabe’s administration following allegations that he was organizing mass demonstrations against the current government.

Moyo fled Zimbabwe in 2017 following the ouster which saw Mugabe removed from office and Emmerson Mnangagwa take over as head of state. Authorities in Kenya have previously denied harbouring Moyo.

Moyo is suspected to be a leading figure behind a scheme which intended to have former First Lady Grace Mugabe succeed her husband at the expense of Mnangagwa, who at the time was vice-president. The scheme was hatched by the G40, a faction within the ruling ZANU-PF party.

ZANU-PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, a prominent personality within the ruling party, said the party wants Moyo handed over to have him stopped against plotting against Mnangagwa’s administration.

“We take note and welcome the prosecutor general’s efforts for the extradition of Professor Jonathan Moyo from Kenya as he is the figment of the external demonisation of our leadership and extorting mass uprising in the country.”

While Moyo has previously claimed that there have been attempts on his life even after he left the country, the Zimbabwe government has denied having any intentions of killing him.

“Zimbabwe does not assassinate people,” government spokesperson Ndabaningi Mangwana said.

“We have a lot of faith in our criminal justice system and we believe everyone should have their day in court, Jonathan Moyo included.”

Moyo has been accused of corruption both in Zimbabwe and Kenya. In Zimbabwe, he was charged with fraud involving over $400,000 in public funds. Meanwhile in Kenya, he was implicated in a corruption scandal involving about $6 million while he was the programme director in Nairobi for the US-based charity organisation, Ford Foundation.

Last month, Zimbabwe’s Security Council dismissed as “unfounded” rumours of a military coup in the making.

According to the Council, peddlers of the rumour claimed that former members of the ruling ZANU-PF “who fell by the wayside and went into exile” were uniting with some government leaders and security forces and elements of the opposition to undermine the legitimacy of the government and render the country ungovernable.

The Council sent a strong warning to the elements behind the rumours saying that the government will take action against them.

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